Imitazione 05 (2011) by Ludovica CarbottaLa Galleria Nazionale
There – that is, here – where I live, do we reflect ourselves, do we mirror ourselves? No... wait, first of all, are there any mirrors? Or reflective surfaces of any kind, such as puddles of water, or glass, or other shiny surfaces?
By duplicating, a mirror actually creates another person, in whom it is not always easy to recognize oneself, rather the contrary.
Thus, the presence of mirrors, capable of showing me images of another person that I have learned to recognize as a reflection, changes things radically, and my loneliness becomes a multitude – because it is not possible to recognize all the innumerable representations of my person who continually offers me the mirror.
I have hidden all the mirrors and have been trying to avoid using other reflective surfaces for some time, I have learnt exactly where they are and when I meet them.
There are screens, the black surfaces of screens, I mean those of my computer or my phone, but also other screens that I encounter here and there.
Sometimes, when they light up, I can still see myself reflected.
Sometimes it is the glass that covers the window frames from where I usually look down, not all the windows are covered with glass and the ones that are there, are mostly broken, maybe I broke them but now I don’t remember exactly.
Even when it rains, even a small amount of water can accumulate in some coves and reflect some images of me, the days when this happens I feel very strange, I can’t avoid looking at the reflections and for some time I have realized that they are not reflections, they are images of others.
In addition to yours, to my reflected image which you increasingly try to avoid, what about the possibility of listening to recorded voices? You do it, I do it, right? How do you do it? The electricity supply should be finished, along with everything else.
Electricity works perfectly here. I think I’ve read somewhere that plants can deliver for months and months, in the absence of staff, thanks to automation.
It seems so, but on the other hand I’m not really sure that there is no one, certainly not here, apart from me and myself, how can you say that it’s all over?
Imitazione 04 (2011) by Ludovica CarbottaLa Galleria Nazionale
(Turin, 1982. She lives and works in Barcelona.)
Since her beginning, Ludovica Carbotta’s research has focused on the relationship between the individual and urban space.
The space that interests the artist is not abstract, but that of an experience, a life environment – real or imagined – on which we cast our desires, aspirations and even frustrations, investigated in the form of drawing, sculpture and more recently installation in which architectural, audio, text and performance structures converge.
The materials that she uses – plaster, cement, steel pipes, fir planks and wooden boards, plastic sheets – can indifferently belong to the studio of an artist and to a construction site. The same can be said also for the actions that are impressed on the material or how a shape is constructed, always out of addition.
In recent years, Ludovica Carbotta’s research has focused on Monowe, an imaginary city inhabited by a single person, which has gradually taken shape in exhibition spaces – including Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, MAXXI on the occasion of her participation in Premio Italia 2016 – and city passages – Bologna, for ONPublic; Venice, Biennale di Arte 2019.
Monowe is in balance between construction site and ruin, underlining its procedural and entropic nature.
The monumental staircase, which has always characterized Ludovica Carbotta’s work and which in recent years has acquired an architectural dimension, is already perceptible in Imitazione 2010-2011.
The work is made up of a series of elements made by filling the artist’s footprint with quick-setting concrete, imprinted in a muddy and yielding ground.
It is a self-portrait that restores the presence, weight and gestures of the artist. Through a performative action that translates into an object, the artist reminds us that we are part of the world: we bear its traces, and we leave just as many.
Each cast has a different size, corresponding to the resistance of the ground to her body.
The shape obtained is imprecise, imperfect, but becomes a pedestal on which to stack other elements to give the sculpture verticality, comparing it to the column or the statue.
The use of iron rods protruding from the structures suggests that the shape of these works is temporary, and that the construction process can continue further.
Ludovica Carbotta and Cecilia Canziani
Works cited: L. Carbotta, C. Fossati, G.A. Gilli, Orizzontale, M. Alis Respino & S. Filippi, Monowe, an Interview, Script for a Performance, 2017